GREELEY - Every student like Bernie Zavala needs to be officially counted. It's how schools receive state funding. But, every student is not going through what Zavala is experiencing right now.
"Everything was in that house, like all the memories, everything," Zavala said.
He is a senior at Greeley West High School. He is also a flood victim.
"I like saw the receding line where it was and it was taller than me," Zavala said.
Principal Shelli Robins has been working with Zavala and other students who are flood victims to receive support at Greeley West High School.
"All of the schools that have been directly affected are working together to help those families out as much as we can," Robins said.
In Greeley-Evans School District 6, the floods have heavily impacted student population at three schools. Yet, all of those schools need to have an accurate count for the school year. October 1st is traditionally known as "Count Day."
"We're looking at the number of students that are here in our building today," Robins said. "So, every student has to sign in to their classroom and do some sort of an activity in order to show that they're here."
The counting process actually takes place over multiple days usually centered on October 1st. For each student counted, schools receive an average of about $6,650 in state revenue. While she says the funding is not the priority right now, Robins hopes all 50 of her flooded out students come to school during the counting time.
"It would have a huge impact on our funding," Robins said.
Zavala is the 2nd oldest in a family of eight. He is living in a hotel while they figure out where to live next. Yet, he feels compelled to attend classes.
"I had to come back," Zavala said. "I had to get all of my stuff together and get my grades up, everything."
The school has organized donation drives to help Zavala and the other flood victims. Robins says they have all come back to school, despite the problems caused by the floods.
"Our kids really want to be here at school. So, getting them here has really not been a problem," Robins said. "I think that we will have an accurate count."
To make sure of that, the state has granted 33 school districts, including Greeley-Evans School District 6, an extension on the student count process, if needed.
With his home gone, Zavala says it was a no-brainer that he had to come back to finish his final year.
"I wasn't going to give up," Zavala said. "I'm this far. I'm not going to quit right when I'm at the finish line, already."
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